Working together to achieve success for every child
Transdisciplinary Learning – It’s all connected!
Matter exists in different forms which can be changed and used for different purposes.
The lines of inquiry for this unit are:
- what defines matter (form)
- changes matter can undergo (change)
- how matter can be used to suit purposes (connection)
Unit of Inquiry
The learners started their journey into the scientific, by witnessing some demonstrations of matter changing form. These demonstrations were then used as the starting point for the teachers to model the use of the scientific process, ‘good’ science skills, particularly observational skills, analysis and how to formulate and then use questions to drive our inquiry.
Independent inquiry into solids, liquids, gases
After that it was over to the children to follow instructions and work through some practical science of their own. They tested how ice melted under different conditions, what happens when you mix a fatty solution with a detergent and how you can make a raisin dance, if you give it just the right kind of fluid!
The children then went onto work in groups which asked questions, researched into those areas in an attempt to answer those questions, and then put forward a testable hypothesis. For the rest of this week and heading into next week the children will be given the opportunity to carry out experiments which test their hypotheses. The focus so far as the Learner Profile goes is that of Thinker.
Some quotes from our students:
“I was so happy to start the science stuff and to be able to do some real experiments.”
“I think that the bonds weaken, that’s why the ice melts.”
“My group has gone crazy because we thought that things change because of the molecules then we found out that molecules are made of atoms, then we researched atoms and found out they are made of protons and neutrons and electrons so we researched those and found out that they are made of quarks! We haven’t found out what quarks are made of, yet.”
In concert with the UOI the literacy has been supporting scientific writing and reading. Research skills such as skimming and scanning, identifying the main idea of a piece of text, locating key words and phrases and formulating good questions have made up the majority of our literacy. We have also tried to place the onus on the children when it comes to selecting the literacy they will use by asking them to identify how they will use their reading, writing, presenting and speaking & listening skills.
Some quotes from our students:
“I guess we might be writing lots of lists…”
“We need to read books as well as online things, books sometimes have good information even though it is usually very old. Some of our books are nearly 3 years old.”
What happens to bread when it turns into toast? What change is taking place?
As with literacy the maths has a connection to the UOI. As well as continuing some pattern based maths (and beginning to look at place value) we have been using our maths to support our scientific inquiry by revisiting measuring both as a concept and as a practice. We will focus this on the measurement of volume, length, temperature and mass as these will allow us to collect data which we can then analyse for patterns.
Thinking scientifically. How do procedures support us?
In the Chinese classrooms, our focus continues to be on the concept of wellbeing; what it is, and what we can do to promote our own and other’s wellbeing within the classroom. In our current Chinese learning, we have been providing different opportunities for our children to explore their own interests and promote agentic learning.
Here is a glimpse of some of our classrooms:
How you can help at home
Talk about changes in matter in everyday life. When the kettle boils, start a conversation about why that happens, what is allowing the water to get so excited in the kettle, what is it that we see coming out of the kettle? Emphasise that it is the asking of questions and putting forward of hypotheses that is important, not “getting the answer”
Key Dates for the diary
14th September, 5pm to 7.30pm, Mid Autumn Lantern Festival evening and PTA AGM